Manchester United have appointed a new director of football. The role has been given to John Murtough, who has been at the club for about seven years.
Darren Fletcher is Man Utd’s new technical director. These new appointments are part of what Manchester United term as the evolution of their organisation structure.
John Murtough will become the first person in the club to hold that position. His appointment is a promotion from his previous role in the club as the head of football development.
Murtough has a rich history in football, having been at clubs such as Fulham and Everton. He joined United in 2013, becoming the club’s head of football development in 2016.
His work at the Manchester United academy and the women’s team is likely to have propelled his new appointment to director of football.
According to sources from the club, he is said to have had a major impact and say in the recruitment of the women team in 2018.
The women’s team is doing extremely well despite only being formed recently, currently sits third in the women league standings.
The Manchester United academy is another area where John Murtough has been involved immensely. His recruitment of young talent has been exceptional, having attracted talents like Hannibal Mejbri and having enabled them promoted to first-team football to many academy graduates.
His new role as director of football will involve responsibilities, such as overall leadership and operations and strategy across all football functions.
Murtough will work with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to create structures, processes and culture to deliver sustained success on the pitch.
His daily work will involve aligning recruitment strategies to ensure that the first team has the operations support it requires.
Ed Woodward, the United Executive Vice-Chairman, said in a statement:
“These are hugely important appointments that reinforce the progress we have been making as a club in recent years in our relentless pursuit of success. We have already made great strides forward in the way we run our football operations, and the benefits are visible in the resurgent pipeline of Academy talent reaching the first team and through our improved recruitment record. John has been integral to our progress in all these areas and his deep understanding of development ensures the club’s traditions of bringing young players through from the Academy to the first team will continue. This new position is a natural evolution that harnesses his leadership qualities and his years of experience in the game.”
In an interview, John Murtough said:
“This is such an exciting time for everyone at Manchester United with the first team, Academy and Women’s team all performing strongly, and plenty of development still to come. It’s a privilege to be part of that process, and an honour to lead Manchester United’s football department, working alongside Ole, Casey and so many other truly outstanding staff all dedicated to delivering success to this club.”
Manchester United will now look set to enter a new summer transfer market with a director of football.
Ange provides injury report and welcomes home Scottish Cup draw
Ange Postecoglou got the job done against Alloa Athletic in the Scottish Cup fourth round on Saturday.
A 2-1 win against League One side ensured advancement to the showpiece final at Hampden Park later this season.
The goal was to get through, but despite accomplishing that goal, injuries forced Callum McGregor and Yosuke Ideguchi to leave the Indodrill Stadium.
Ange Postecoglou spoke exclusively to Celtic TV about the duo’s fitness and the fifth round, which includes a match versus Raith Rovers at Celtic Park.
The Celtic manager said: “Callum is better today. He wasn’t in great shape after the game but I’ve exchanged messages with him and he feels a bit better, which is great.
“Knowing the type of character Callum is, for him to come off was something significant. Hopefully, his recovery doesn’t take too long.
“Yosuke is not great. I think I said after the game it didn’t look too serious but it’s still pretty painful now.
“I was optimistic it wouldn’t be too bad, but as everyone saw in the footage it was a tackle that shouldn’t have happened and should have been addressed on the day.
“It was a terrible tackle and one he hasn’t come of too well and will be missing for a little bit as well.
“The pitch wasn’t great in the last round against Alloa and they’re the type of things you want to avoid. The fact we’re at home in front of our supporters and on our pitch, I think is a good advantage.”
On the plus side, the team put in a strong performance on Saturday, led by Giorgos Giakoumakis, who scored his second goal for the green and white Hoops.
“It was good for him and more important it was good to get 90 minutes,” he said. “He’s had an interrupted first half of the year but he’s worked awfully hard.
“We gave most of the guys a week off in between games but he stayed at Lennoxtown with a few other boys and put in the work.
“He got through the 90 minutes pretty strong and scored his goal, so it’s a good foundation for him.”
Everton senior board members fume as Farhad Moshiri talks with Vitor Pereira in Monaco
According to the Daily Star, senior Everton officials are furious with Farhad Moshiri over his weekend meetings with Vitor Pereira.
Moshiri met with the contender for talks in Monaco, according to the newspaper’s print copy (25/01).
Given how disastrous the move to appoint Rafa Benitez was, board members at Goodison Park are thought to have strong opposition.
“Board and on the senior executive, especially given the disastrous appointment of Rafa Benitez,” the piece concluded.
Moshiri appeared to be going in headfirst and making the decision without engaging anyone.
This just goes to show that, while he may be a terrific businessman, his football brain is still lagging behind and causing serious problems at Goodison Park.
The owner is in desperate need of advice because some of his recent actions have been comical.
The fans are grateful to those senior board members who opted to stand up and be counted on this occasion, preventing a catastrophe.
Pereira may have won awards during his career, but he did so in nations like China, Greece, and Portugal, where it is expected.
Hopefully, Moshiri will listen to his board members more often, and they will assist him in making the best decision possible to move the Toffees ahead rather than backward.
Newcastle table £10m loan offer, player out of contract in the summer
Newcastle have reportedly made a £10 million loan approach for Jesse Lingard in the final days of the January transfer window, according to 90Min. According to the report, despite the fact that conversations have lasted a month, they ‘anticipate’ this offer to be ‘accepted.’
Lingard, who is 29 years old, has only started two of his 14 league and cup games this season. That’s following a brilliant loan spell with West Ham last season, in which he netted nine goals and contributed five assists in 16 appearances. In June, his contract will expire.
Newcastle, as well as West Ham and Tottenham, have been heavily connected with Lingard. However, according to the source, Newcastle has offered United a £10 million loan fee for Lingard after extensive discussions.
Unless he accepts a new Old Trafford contract, such a deal would likely put an end to his United career. It’s unknown whether Lingard wants to transfer, but it’s been said that Newcastle would have to pay him twice as much as he is now.
Lingard still needs to be persuaded. Newcastle triumphed over the weekend, which is crucial not only in terms of staying up but also in terms of attracting players this month. It provides those who are being hunted a better chance of surviving.
Lingard possesses the ability to increase Newcastle’s hopes of remaining in the Premier League significantly. If he joins on loan, Newcastle will have six months to persuade him to sign a permanent contract – and it could work out.
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